Girls pg 1 4-29-21

Category: Current Issue

caption, page 3

Pitches Out
Woodstock Academy’s Adam Thompson pitches out to the green on the second hole at the Quinnatisset Country Club in the Centaurs match against Bacon Academy. Photo by Rich Garceau.


Girls’ golf
team takes
first two
It had been a nice preseason for the Woodstock Academy girls’ golf team as far as the weather was concerned.
Early spring can be difficult but, for the most part, the weather was cooperative.
Then the season got underway and winter returned.
Temperatures were in the 40s and so were the wind gusts at the Roseland Park Golf Course April 22.
It didn’t bother the Centaurs all that much.
The girls went out and posted a 170-213 win over E. Lyme in their season opener.
Senior Kaily LaChapelle said the team just took the weather in stride.
“Playing in the wind and cold was definitely a challenge, but as a golfer you have to be prepared for all weather conditions,” LaChapelle said.
LaChapelle and fellow senior, Mia Dang who was making her Woodstock Academy debut, both carded a 37 to lead the Centaurs.
“They both showed up ready to play,” said Woodstock Academy coach Earl Semmelrock. ”They had an idea of what they wanted to do and executed the plan. All the girls have been very anxious to play in a match and post a score that counted. Even though (Roseland Park) is a little shorter than Quinnatisset, it is much tighter with smaller greens. They kept the ball in play.”
The match had originally been scheduled to be played at the Old Lyme Country Club the day before but weather forced the move to Thursday and the Old Lyme course was not available.
The Woodstock Academy boys’ team had a match at Quinnatisset so the decision was made to move the girls match to Roseland.
It was a familiar place as the girls’ team had practiced there until Quinnatisset opened in early April.
“It was the first time we have played a match there. Based on practice round scores, I thought they would post a good team score.  It was good for all of the team and they are excited to see how they score at other courses,” Semmelrock said.
LaChapelle was happy with the results.
“I just focused on my game and had a good time. My drives went really well, which is what I was most nervous about with the wind. I was extremely happy to see Mia shoot a 37 in her first outing with the team. I’m excited to see where the season takes her,” LaChapelle said.
The Centaurs also received a pair of 48s from Ciara MacKinnon and Alex Vaida.
“Very happy,” Semmelrock said of those two performances. “Even Maria (Santucci), our No. 5, was only a shot behind with a 49.”
The Centaurs followed up their season-opening win over East Lyme with a similar performance April 23.
Woodstock Academy downed Bacon Academy by a collective 50 strokes at the Chanticlair Golf Club in Colchester, 179-229.
Dang again broke 40 as she finished as medalist for the day with a 38.
LaChapelle and MacKinnon both carded a 46.
“Roseland is a small course so the short game becomes much more crucial to your score. We were a little nervous coming in Friday because Chanticlair is a bit longer, but thankfully most of us played well of the tee and in the fairway. Unfortunately, both days were really windy, but we’ve been getting pretty used to keeping the ball low,” MacKinnon said.
The two early successes also have helped the team’s confidence after a relatively long preseason.
“It feels really rewarding to have two wins in our back pocket, especially for all of us seniors who missed out on our junior season because of the pandemic. We’ve all been working very hard in the offseason to stay on top of our game, so to come out playing this good is amazing. We are hoping to keep the scores low going forward so we can qualify for the state tournament later this spring,” MacKinnon added.
Semmelrock is also feeling pretty good about what he has seen so far.
“We have a team with six girls that all have the ability to post some very competitive numbers. We are excited about the season,” the Woodstock Academy coach said.
The Woodstock Academy baseball team went to Uncasville April 24 and brought home something it desperately needed, a pair of victories.
The Centaurs were coming off losses to Waterford, 15-4, and Lyman Memorial, 5-3, earlier in the week and had seen their record slip to 1-3 on the season.
“They were grinding. The Lyman game was tough. It was a game that we probably could have stolen and we didn’t but I told them that it’s a long season and we have to keep working and good things will happen,” said Woodstock Academy coach Brian Murphy.
Good things did happen April 24 as Woodstock Academy took both sides of a doubleheader.
The Centaurs rallied from a 4-0 deficit in the opener to win 8-4 and scored five runs in the first inning of the second game that helped them post a 12-5 victory.
The two wins evened up their overall record at 3-3 and also boosted their ECC Conference Division 2 record to 3-1.
“(Saturday) was huge. For the kids to go down 4-0 after two innings, they battled and didn’t give up against their No. 1 pitcher. He was dealing and we clawed away, “said Brian Murphy.
The key hit came in the seventh when sophomore Kaden Murphy, with the Centaurs trailing 4-3, had a key one out, two-run single to give his team the lead for good and Jackson Goetz added a little insurance as he followed Murphy’s hit with an RBI single of his own.
Junior Jon Smith did the rest on the hill as he went the distance, giving up the four runs on just three hits and striking out eight.
In game 2 the Centaurs sent 14 men to the plate in the first inning and scored five times.
Goetz and Zach Roethlein had doubles among the seven hits that the Centaurs amassed in the inning.
Woodstock Academy had 16 for the game with Goetz going 3-for-3 with three RBIs. Brendan Hill added three hits in four trips while Hamilton Barnes and Kaden Murphy each drove in a pair of runs.
Big innings were the key for the Woodstock Academy softball team in a doubleheader against St. Bernard at the Bentley Athletic Complex April 24.
Centaurs coach Jay Gerum said, “We got on the bases and we were just terrors on the base paths. We did a lot of nice things.”
Woodstock Academy took an 11-2 win in the opener by getting four runs in the first inning and seven more in the fourth.
It was all senior pitcher Mackenzie Leveille needed as she allowed just four hits and struck out 14.
Leveille was also effective at the plate where she went 3-for-3 with a pair of RBIs.
Both Madison Martinez and Meg Preston had two hits and two RBIs.
“In the first game, (the two teams) didn’t know each other and we were playing some of the short game like we did against NFA and got some runs in, got some confidence and then everyone started to hit the ball,” Gerum said.
It resulted in a 19-1 win in the second game as the Centaurs pounded out 16 hits and had two very large innings to end the game after five due to the mercy rule.
Woodstock Academy fell behind early thanks to the combination of Angelica Tompkins and Arianna Guinassi.
Tompkins was 3-for-3 in the opener for the Saints (0-4, 0-4 ECC Division 2) and Guinassi drove in two runs.
The two accounted for the only run St. Bernard would score in the first inning when Tompkins had the only hit by the Saints off Woodstock Academy sophomore pitcher Lexi Thompson who struck out 12 in five innings.
The lead held until the third when the Centaurs plated 11 runs, Thompson had a two-run triple and Sarah McArthur added a two-run double in the uprising.
The Centaurs ended the game early with eight more runs in the fifth.
Mia Pannone had a pair of hits and drove in three for the Centaurs in the game. The two wins raised Woodstock Academy’s record to 5-2 overall and 4-0 in Division 2 of the ECC.
Boys’ Golf
The boys’ golf team had several factors going against them April 22.
First, there were the late winter-like conditions with temperatures in the 40s and wind gusts that probably matched the temperature.
Add to that the fact that the greens at Quinnatisset Country Club were just recently aerated, leaving them topped with sand, full of holes and unpredictable.
Tack on to that a good Bacon Academy team and the makings were there for a tough day.
The Centaurs experienced just that as they fell to the Bobcats, 5-2, to drop to 1-1 on the season and 1-1 in Division 2 of the ECC.
“The team as a whole seemed to struggle on the putting surface.  The greens have just been aerated a few days earlier and were slow and bumpy, but one of our biggest struggles was ball striking.  Generally, a team can absorb one or two players having a bad day if the other members of the team have a good or even average day.  Unfortunately, everyone (on Thursday) scored above their competition and practice scoring averages,” said Woodstock Academy coach Rich Garceau.
The Centaurs don’t have the No. 1 senior player to feed off of so there will be growing pains as Garceau expected.
“We are still learning how to maintain a positive thinking attitude while on the course; to put bad holes behind us and focus on any positivity we can find to recover and still score well on a day that it seems our swing has abandoned us.  Like everything with a young team, there is a bit of a learning curve to get past,” Garceau said.
Juniors Kyle Brennan and Chris Thibault led the team. Brennan was two strokes above his average with a 44 while Thibault carded a 49.
Bacon Academy, playing in its season opener, was led by Lucas Baldinger who was the medalist of the match with a 41.
David Tremblay added a 45 and Connor Tuttle a 47 for the Bobcats.
“Their coach felt that this was a great day for them.  As the Bacon kids were turning in their scores at the scorer’s table, they all seemed pretty pleased.  I think the Bacon kids do have a lot of raw talent that began to reach its early potential,” Garceau said. “I am not overly worried about the Woodstock Academy team at this point.  It will, however, be interesting to see how we can regroup and get back to golfing at the level we have already achieved earlier in the season.”
Boys’ Lacrosse
The Centaurs came close on both of their journeys last week, but unfortunately, neither resulted in a win.
The Centaurs saw their record drop to 2-3 overall and 0-3 in Division 1 of the ECC as they lost to Waterford April 23, 4-3, in overtime.
That was preceded by a 12-9 loss to Fitch in Groton earlier in the week.
The Centaurs opened a lead on the Lancers (1-3, 1-3) under the lights in Waterford.
Guerin Favreau scored the only goal of the first quarter off an assist from Jonah Libby.
That same combination created the Centaurs second and third goals with Favreau scoring early in the second quarter and Libby adding a tally of his own off a Favreau assist just about a minute and a half later.
But it was the last goal the Centaurs would score.
Waterford made it a one goal difference less than two minutes into the second half, tied the game with 7:50 to play and won in overtime.
The story was a bit of the opposite against the Falcons.
Fitch broke out to a 4-0 lead on their home field at the Groton Middle School before Favreau scored the first of his five goals.
The Centaurs were able to tie the game at six on a goal by Jacob Jurnovoy with nine minutes left in the third quarter.
But the energy it took to tie the game hurt in the long run as Fitch scored two of the next three goals to re-establish its momentum and followed that up with three of the next four for the win.
Boys’ Tennis
The Centaurs made their first road trip of the season and returned with a disappointing ECC Division 2 loss to Montville.
The two teams split the singles competition but the Indians swept the doubles for the 5-2 victory.
The loss dropped the Centaurs to 1-1 overall and 1-1 in Division 2.
Stefan Chervenkov had to work but he posted a straight set, 6-3, 6-3 win over David Baukus of Montville at first singles.
Abrams had to work even harder against A.J. Hintz. The two went to three sets before Abrams posted a 6-2, 3-6, 6-1 victory.
Cormac Nielsen and Kyle Pazienza had a chance at first doubles. They downed the Montville duo of Ethan Thomas and Matt Malbaurn 6-2 in the first set, but lost the next two, 6-4, 6-0.
Girls’ Lacrosse
Junior Shannon Gagnon is off to a good start with six goals on the season, but unfortunately, it has yet to help translate to a win for the Centaurs.
Woodstock Academy fell to 0-4 with a 20-2 loss to Fitch April 22 that was preceded by a 17-4 loss to Bacon Academy earlier in the week.
Marc Allard
Director of Sports Information
The Woodstock Academy